Frequently Asked Questions
I accept payment by PayPal.
If you're a UK customer, I can also take payment by bank transfer. If you'd like to pay by bank transfer, please select this option at checkout and go ahead and place your order. I will then be in touch with my bank details so that you can arrange payment. Payment must be made within 24 hours of me receiving your order.
I'm sure that you'll be happy with your beads but if for some reason you are not please return them to me in their original condition within seven days for a full refund.
What about postage and packing?
I offer FREE Royal Mail 2nd Class postage to UK addresses. This usually takes two to three working days.
UK customers can also opt for Royal Mail 1st Class which costs £1.99 per order. This usually takes one to two working days.
Very occasionally Royal Mail can take ages to deliver something or sometimes a package can get lost. If you've not received your order within seven working days of receiving your dispatch notification, please let me know.
For UK customers there is also the option of Royal Mail 1st Class Signed for and this is £3.49 per order. A signature is required upon delivery. This is insured for up to £50.00 per parcel.
UK customers can also opt for Royal Mail Special Delivery which costs £6.99 per order and is trackable online. A signature is required upon delivery. This is insured for up to £500 per parcel.
Postage to Europe, America, Canada and the rest of the world is standard (not tracked or insured) Royal Mail Airmail and costs £4.50 per order. Overseas customers can also opt for Royal Mail International Signed For at £9.99 per order which is insured and requires a signature upon receipt.
I post beads within two working days of my receipt of your order. You'll receive an email telling you when I've posted your order.
Please allow up to five working days for UK delivery, and up to fourteen days for the Rest of the World.
How are the beads presented?
My beads are all wrapped in tissue paper and orders are sent out in cardboard boxes. Jewellery is tissue-wrapped and/or gift-packaged.
I'm buying your work as a gift. Can you include a note with my order?
Yes, no problem at all. I can hand write you a tag with whatever message you like. Your gift will be sent to the recipient without any prices printed anywhere. Just tell me you'd like a gift note and what you'd like written in the 'Notes' section at checkout.
How often do you add new beads to your shop?
Hmmm. How long is a strand of beads? The thing is, you see, beadmaking is a creative thing and without wishing to sound like an arty farty numpty, creativity is a fickle beast. Some weeks I'll create a bazillion beads (okay, okay, maybe three hundred) and some weeks my creative battery is flat and I can't make a basic spacer bead for toffee. So, I add beads whenever I have them. All I can suggest is that you check my shop, Facebook page and Instagram feed often for new bead news.
I want to learn lampwork. Do you teach?
Not at the moment, sorry.
Didn't you used to have some free beadmaking tutorials? Where are those?
You're not wrong. I did used to offer some PDF tutorials but I no longer do. However, I am currently in the process of writing a book about beadmaking.
What glass did you use for those beads?
I have a Tumblr blog where I document the glass I used to make each set of beads. This is for my own benefit - I've started umpteen paper notebooks full of bead recipes but then they inevitably get comandeered for shopping and to-do lists, so the Tumblr is a more permanent and easily-accessible record - but it may be useful to you too.
Do you do wholesale or a bulk discount of any kind?
No. I don't do wholesale because my beads are handamde items and I am not a machine. I can't increase the speed at which I make beads and there is only one of me with only one pair of hands. These basic factors mean that my beads and wholesale do not compute.
Do you take commissions or special orders?
Sorry but no; I find commissions too restrictive. It's that creative arty-farty numpty thing again. Whenever I've taken commissions and special orders in the past I've felt pressured to make the beads; not pressure from the customer, but pressure from myself. This doesn't bode well with the bead 'mojo' and I find myself not enjoying the whole beadmaking process as much as I normally do. I work much better if I sit at the torch and just go with the flow and experiment with my own ideas rather than try to work to someone else's brief. I know that this probably sounds a bit odd but I am sure that some other lampworkers will understand what I mean. Please also note that I do not make beads with cremation ashes, be they human or animal. This isn't because I am squeamish or weird about death; it's simply something that I have chosen not to do.
There's a set of beads in your gallery that I love. Can you re-make them for me?
Again, it's a no, sorry. What I love about lampwork is that a lot of the beads are one-offs. Also, inconsistencies in glass production means that it is impossible to recreate some beads because the glass I originally used just doesn't exist anymore.
How and where did you learn to make beads?
I'm totally self-taught. I've never had a beadmaking lesson in my life. All I know I have learned from books, websites and through practice. Please click here for information on how I started out beadmaking.
Can I come and see what beads you have for sale?
I get asked this one a lot. I don't have any bead stock. There is nothing to see here, except for a very messy workbench, a heap of stringer the size of the Isle Of Wight and and a water jug full of beads that went bad.
Please can I come and watch you at work in your shed?
When I was in art lessons at school I hated it when the teacher came and stood next to me and peered over my shoulder at what I was drawing or painting. (My apologies if you're reading this Mr Barker or Mr Smith!) Similarly I don't like people peering over my shoulder at me making beads. It kind of puts me off. Plus we all know that sod's law dictates that when we want something to go right it'll go wrong. I'd be trying to act all professional beadmaker and I'd make some terrible schoolgirl error and you'd leave thinking I was rubbish, so again, it's a no I'm afraid.